Three Stars of The Day


1. Greg Westlake (F) – Canada
Westlake did it again Saturday night, scoring a natural hat trick – one goal in the first period, one in the second and one in the third – to turn an early 1-0 U.S. lead into a 3-1 Canadian advantage as Canada defended its World Sledge Hockey Challenge gold medal. The Canadian captain scored hat tricks in each of Canada’s two playoff round games, and his eight goals overall rank as the second-best number in tournament history.

2. Brad Bowden (F) – Canada
Bowden once again played Robin to Westlake’s Batman, setting up all three of the captain’s goals before putting the final nail in the American coffin with a breakaway goal in the third period. He racked up a remarkable 10 points in Canada’s two playoff round games, finishing as the tournament’s leading scorer with 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in five games, the third-best total in tournament history.

3. Audun Bakke (F) – Norway
Bakke picked an ideal time for his first two points of the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, scoring early in the third period to give the Norwegians some breathing room at 4-2 – a goal that would stand up as the game-winner – and finishing off their 5-3 bronze medal game victory into an empty net with the Japanese on the power play, enjoying a 6-on-4 advantage and pressing for the tying goal.

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1. Greg Westlake (F) – Canada

Captain Canada was at his best Thursday night, tying a World Sledge Hockey Challenge record with six points, including his third career WSHC hat trick, to help the Canadians move into Saturday’s final. Westlake scored a back-breaking 3-1 goal just 40 seconds after Japan had cut the Canadian lead to one late in the first period, and added two more in the second as Canada pulled away for good and moved on to play for gold.

2. Brad Bowden (F) – Canada

The second half of Canada’s dynamic duo was just as good as his linemate above, also racking up a record-tying six points and also scoring his third career hat trick. Bowden was the playmaker through 40 minutes, setting up each of Westlake’s three goals before finishing off his own ‘tour du chapeau’ with goals 14 seconds apart early in the third period, posting his third consecutive multi-point performance.

3. Josh Pauls (D) – United States

Without a point through the preliminary round Pauls broke out in a big way against Norway, scoring a hat trick to lead the offence as the Americans advanced to the gold medal game with a victory. The blue-liner broke open a 1-1 tie midway through the second period before adding a pair of insurance markers in the third, ensuring the U.S. will go for its second WSHC gold medal on Saturday afternoon.

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1. Rolf Pedersen (F) – Norway
With his Norwegian team needing a win to avoid an undefeated first-place team in the semifinals, Pedersen showed off the skills that make him one of the world’s best sledge hockey players, scoring his fourth career World Sledge Hockey Challenge hat trick – two more than any other player – and adding an assist to lead Norway to an 8-3 victory over Japan and set up a semifinal date with the U.S.

2. Benoit St-Amand (G) – Canada
The netminder was arguably Canada’s best player in its 3-1 win over the United States, which allowed the Canadians to clinch first place in the preliminary round. St-Amand made 15 saves, many of them tough stops, and made his best save midway through the first period, shortly after Anthony Gale opened the scoring for Canada, when he turned away Adam Page on a clear-cut breakaway opportunity, preserving the lead.

3. Brad Bowden (F) – Canada
The speedy forward was a game-breaker for the Canadians, making a beautiful break-out pass to start a rush that ended with Anthony Gale’s 1-0 goal, and scoring the eventual game-winner late in the second period, snapping a quick shot past American netminder Steve Cash. Bowden has back-to-back multiple-point games and sits fourth in tournament scoring, two points behind teammate Billy Bridges.

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1. Billy Bridges (F) – Canada

The Canadian sniper added to his impressive all-time international totals, scoring his 121st and 122nd Team Canada goals in the game’s first 4:14 to spark Canada to an early lead in its eventual 5-2 victory over Norway. Bridges added an assist on Adam Dixon’s power play goal in the third period, giving him back-to-back three-point games and leaving him tied atop the tournament scoring chart through two days.

2. Nikko Landeros (F) – United States

For the second day in a row Landeros occupies the No. 2 spot, posting three points for the second consecutive game to tie him with Bridges for first in tournament scoring. The Berthoud, Colo., native gave the Americans some breathing room with the 2-0 goal 15 minutes into the first period and set up Alexi Salamone for even more insurance 1:44 later before adding a second assist to the U.S.’ fifth goal in the third.

3. Anthony Gale (F) – Canada

Gale scored just once in Canada’s 5-2 win over Norway, but makes the list for historical reasons. His goal midway through the first period – just minutes after he failed on a penalty shot attempt – was the 500th international goal scored by Canada’s National Sledge Team since it came under the Hockey Canada umbrella in 2004. The Canadians have scored 502 goals in 122 games, an average of 4.12 goals per contest.

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1. Adam Dixon (D) – Canada  
The blue-liner was an offensive star for Canada in its tournament-opening victory over Japan, setting up Billy Bridges for a first period power play goal with a behind-the-back pass that would have made Wayne Gretzky proud before scoring a goal of his own in the third on a beautiful individual effort, flicking a backhand to the top corner and showing off the skills that have made him one of the world’s best all-around players.

2. Nikko Landeros (F) – United States
The U.S. veteran came to play when his team needed it most, setting up the game’s opening goal by Daniel McCoy and scoring the Americans’ third marker midway through the second period when the Norwegians were applying the pressure and threatening to make it a one-goal game. Landeros capped off a three-point night with his second goal in the third period, helping the U.S. open with an important victory.

3. Billy Bridges (F) – Canada
Canada’s all-time leading scorer played a major role in the team’s 100th all-time win, scoring twice and adding an assist to give him 229 points in 119 games. He finished off a sweet Adam Dixon feed for the 2-0 goal in the first period, caught a break when his dump-in skipped past Japanese goaltender Shinobu Fukushima for Canada’s seventh goal and set up national rookie Kieran Block for his first international goal in the dying seconds.

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2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge (November)
Thu, Dec 01, 2011
NOR 2 - USA 7 (Semifinal)
JPN 2 - CAN 9 (Semifinal)
Fri, Dec 02, 2011
Sat, Dec 03, 2011
JPN 3 - NOR 5 (Bronze)
USA 1 - CAN 4 (Gold)
CAN 5 5 0 9
USA 5 3 2 6
JPN 5 0 5 3
NOR 5 2 3 0
Click here for complete schedule/results

2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge (November)
Team Player G
CAN Greg Westlake 8
CAN Brad Bowden 6
NOR Morten Vaernes 5
NOR Rolf Einar Pedersen 5
USA Taylor Lipsett 5
2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge (November)
Team Player A
CAN Brad Bowden 9
CAN Greg Westlake 6
USA Alexi Salamone 5
NOR Stig Tore Svee 5
USA Nikko Landeros 4
2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge (November)
Team Player P
CAN Brad Bowden 15
CAN Greg Westlake 14
NOR Rolf Einar Pedersen 8
NOR Morten Vaernes 8
NOR Stig Tore Svee 7
2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge (November)
Team Player Sv% GAA
CAN Benoît St-Amand 0.953 0.67
USA Steve Cash 0.833 2.40
CAN Corbin Watson 0.826 2.00
NOR Kjell Christian Hamar 0.742 4.00
NOR Roger Johansen 0.714 6.00